How to Make a Model of Zeus's Lightning Bolt

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Zeus’s lightning bolt is an iconic symbol for many people who enjoy Greek Mythology. There are no set dimensions for his tool, so when you make a model you can embellish the design a bit. Keep the shape simple for the best results. When you finish, you will have a solid model with sharp corners, so use it for display purposes only. Don’t attempt to throw it or swing it around in case you hurt someone.

Things You'll Need

  • Cardboard
  • Pencil
  • Craft knife
  • Wood
  • Scroll saw
  • Sandpaper
  • Sticky cloth
  • Tarp
  • Spray paint

Practice drawing a lightning bolt (to scale for the one you want) on a piece of cardboard. Keep it in a simple lightning bolt shape with three kinks. Make it thin enough to comfortably fit in your hand if you want to grasp it and hold it as Zeus would.

Cut out the shape of the lightning bolt once you perfect the shape. Use a craft knife and trace along the pencil lines to create a cardboard stencil. Pop the cut thunderbolt out of the cardboard and keep the hollow outline.

Place the cardboard stencil over a plank of 1-inch thick hardwood. Position the stencil so you fit the entire lightning bolt on the wood surface. Trace along the edges of the cardboard with a pencil.

Tie your hair back if it hangs lower than your shoulder and don some work goggles. Place your plank of wood on the table of a scroll saw and turn the machine on. Slowly feed the wood into the saw of the machine and move it along the lines of the lightning bolt.

Turn the wood and slowly push it through the blade until you free it from the wood plank. Pull the wood off the table and push the lightning bolt out of the center.

Sand the lightning bolt with 60-grit sandpaper. Once you remove the scorch marks and splinters left by the saw, move up to sanding it with 120-grit sandpaper. Stop once it’s smooth and clean the wood with sticky cloth to remove sawdust.

Place the lightning bolt on a tarp and lightly spray it with gold metallic spray paint. Wait for the side to dry and flip it over to coat the other side. Apply a second layer once you finish the first to give it a solid color.

Tips & Warnings

  • Though you know the lightning bolt is a model of Zeus's, you may want to make it clear to other people by writing "Zeus" on the side. You can write it in spray paint or use a laser wood burning pen (write it with the pen before you paint the wood and then cover the lettering with adhesive paper).
  • Keep your hands clear of the skill saw blade at all times.
  • If the saw encounters a problem, turn it off immediately and then pull out your project. Do not attempt to save the project while the saw is malfunctioning or you may make the problem worse.
  • Only use spray paint in a well-ventilated area.

References

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